Critic Reviews

82

Metascore

Based on 21 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
91
Nuri Bilge Ceylan's mesmerizing Once Upon a Time in Anatolia plays like "Zodiac" meets "Police, Adjective."
91
The body means different things for each of them, and Ceylan's mesmerizing existential drama takes its time establishing the players and bringing their inner lives into focus. It's cinema as autopsy.
90
A metaphysical road movie about life, death and the limits of knowledge, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia has arrived just in time to cure the adult filmgoer blues.
90
What a handful of patient moviegoers may find in Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, however, is a subtle, gorgeous and mysterious allegory that may be Ceylan's masterwork to date.
80
Though its glacial pacing will represent a significant hurdle for many viewers, the film grows steadily more involving as dawn breaks and the men make their way back home, and its unflinching observations of the legal and medical establishment at work frequently rivet. Visually, it's as gorgeous a film as Ceylan has made.
80
Village Voice
A 157-minute police procedural at once sensuous and cerebral, profane and metaphysical, "empty" and abundant, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is closer to the Antonioni of "L'Avventura," and it elevates the 52-year-old director to a new level of achievement.
70
For those willing to take the plunge, it is a deep and haunting work that lingers in the memory.
60
There's too much beauty and ballast in the movie's early stages to dismiss Ceylan's cerebral cop drama, and too much genuine banality in its latter acts to justify a sluggish slouch into the shallow end.
60
Acclaimed director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's meditative, at times maddening expression of human mystery and barren landscapes is gorgeous to look at, intriguing to think about and, at times, hard to sit through.
38
Slant Magazine
Nuri Bilge Ceylan has to be the least kinetic of working filmmakers - and not simply in the sense of static camerawork or lack of narrative momentum.

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